“Would you be so kind as to give us a drink of water from your well?”
My mother passed down a story told by her grandmother, who grew up on a farm located on a dusty, rural road. At that time, a good many people walked wherever they went, since they did not have access to any type of transportation.
One hot summer day a family, traveling by foot, stopped by my great-grandparents’ farm for a drink of well water. They were welcomed, and were offered not only water but lemonade as well. They were also given food, which they ate while resting in the shade of a big elm tree. When this family left, they did not leave empty-handed. They were sent on their way with a container of cool water and the remainder of the food which had been served to them, which enabled them to be refreshed as they continued their journey.
Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.~Hebrews 13:2 NIV
Only God knows the eternal consequences of my great-grandmother’s kind act. What if she had looked at the travelers and decided not to offer refreshments to them? However, she did not turn these strangers away and, in the process, showed her children and grandchildren what kindness looks like.
She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.~Proverbs 31:26 ESV
When I was a child, my siblings and I were encouraged by our parents and our teachers to be kind in whatever situation we found ourselves. The days of my great-grandparents are now long-gone. In the society in which we now live, we are not likely to invite perfect strangers into our backyards and serve them refreshments. But we can be kind to those we encounter daily. Kindness reveals character.
Parents can encourage kindness in their children by speaking positively about others. Do we build others up, or do we bring them down with the words we speak? It is important to speak kindly about others rather than to say unkind things about them. Children learn to gossip when they hear unkindness in the words of their parents and other adults. As we speak kindly of others, we are teaching our children to love people without them even realizing it. Our goal should be to teach them to speak words of hope and encouragement to and about others.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.~Galatians 5:22-23a CEB
The opportunities for us to exhibit kindness present themselves every day. I have listed several situations below, and I am sure you can add additional ways to bless others, as you show kindness to them:
Grocery store checkout lines are frustrating to me because I usually get in the line where price checks and other delays are played out. This is my opportunity to let everyone around me know just how busy I am, that I absolutely do not have time for this. On the other hand, I can use this opportunity to notice the people in front of me and behind me and offer them a smile or a kind word.
At church, we have many opportunities to welcome visitors. For instance, when someone is sitting alone, we can introduce ourselves and sit with them during the service. A number of years ago I had accepted a position in a church, where I knew no one who attended. The Pastor had asked that I be in attendance the Sunday before I was to come on staff. He wanted to introduce me to the congregation. Almost as soon as I got there, a lady sat down on the pew beside me and introduced herself. I’ll never forget the kindness she showed me that day.
What ways can you show kindness this week?
Father God, show me how to share Your love with others as Jesus did while He lived here on earth.
For Your glory, in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Copyright 2020: The Fruit of Kindness: Evelyn Mason Wells: All Rights Reserved